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STEPPING AWAY FROM THE IMMEDIACY OF TECHNOLOGY WAS REFRESHING

The words on the screen mocked me: “Trying to connect.”

First they taunted me from my laptop, and then the derision continued from my phone. All connections were lost.

The internet was out.

When Steve Jobs stood on a stage way back in October 2001, few could imagine that the product he was launching would have a lasting impact on our lives. 

The Apple iPod, a device that could hold “1,000 songs in your pocket,” was revealed.

The soothing comforts of the season arrive with five words: “Well, Suzyn, I thank you.”

Five words that erase the harsh wintry winds and instead brighten the possibilities of spring.

Imagine that we would accept our differences in ideology and cooperate on the basis that we share the same biology. Imagine that instead of the short-term gain for one, we would plan for the long-term benefit for all.

Imagine that following the lessons of World War II, we would agree to ban nuclear-powered weaponry. Imagine that instead of engaging in cyber warfare, we focus on finding solutions to real-world affairs.

I can’t wait until my Meta Me — the digital version of me — becomes a reality.

His name is “Sir Alex,” a mix between “Siri” and “Alexa,” which seems appropriate since my middle name is Alex. It will of course have a gender-correct male voice.

A sense of hope was undeniable at an early morning youth futsal game. 

Parents, gripping tall to-go coffee cups, made small talk outside the gym. A father and son tossed a football in the grass. 

A young boy earnestly dribbled a basketball around his mother and uncle, losing possession then scurrying excitedly to retrieve the ball.

We have been faced with a lot in the last two years. 

The anxiousness of how Covid influences our lives; divided opinions about masks, politics, abortion rights, to name just a few; an economy that faces labor shortages and supply-chain issues. 

On top of these short-term challenges comes the realization that climate change is real, with negative impacts that can be felt across the country. 

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Gas-powered leaf blowers are everywhere in our communities. Most of us seem to insist on leaf-free driveways and manicured grass areas in our gardens.

I never quite understood the logic behind this handheld obnoxiously loud monster that pollutes the fresh air in our neighborhoods. After all, there is a reason why they are labeled “leaf blowers” and not “leaf pick-up devices.”

With more than 200,000 residents and a couple million tourists each year, Beaufort and Jasper counties are no longer the sleepy paradise of years past. 

But with growth comes issues: Development in both counties; the Hilton Head bridge replacement; Hardeeville’s rapid growth; school crowding and quality; business development; traffic; workforce housing; beach preservation; and others.

Sept. 11, 2001, will always be with me. The horrific images, the panicked phone calls, the uncertainty. The feeling of helplessness. 

Twenty years ago this month, terrorists attacked the United States. The attack at the World Trade Center led to the deaths of 2,606 people.

Overall, 2,997 people died, including 125 at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and 40 who were on Flight 93 that crashed in Shanksville, Pa.